Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Home sweet home!

So, my journey home to the UK. Had an absolute nightmare at Auckland airport; I read online I can take up to 32kg if travelling to/from UK & NZ...had no problems on way there & case was well over 25kg. Get to airport in NZ, my case is 31kg & they wont accept it. Apparently what I read didn't apply to me - I was wrong!!! $95 for each kg whole case probably wasn't worth that! So I had to empty some stuff out & leave it in NZ :'( sad sad times!! I did however put on 2 pairs of jeans, leggings, 2 tops, & 2 jumpers & got thro security...(sweating) hahahaaaa! 

The flight itself was awful. Turbulence was sooooooooooo bad, at one point it lasted for an hour and I was gripping onto the seat, then spent the next few hours puking in the toilet. I felt SO rough it was unreal, so was possibly the worst 27 hours of my life!!

Dad was waiting at the airport for me & then I was back home reunited with my family & Dave...was so happy to see them all after what felt like so long <3

I have now been home for over 2 weeks, and NZ feels like a distant memory! It truely was an amazing experience & I am so happy I had the chance to do it!

Thank you to everyone who followed my blog and to all those who supported me along my journey. 

....There really is no place like home xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Differences between NZ and the UK...

During my time in NZ I have heard a lot of strange words & meanings. Each time I've had to ask the person to explain what they meant as I'd never heard it before. Heres a list of NZ words I've come across and what they mean to us English people.........

   NZ                                    UK

capsicum                     pepper

state                          exam

bach                          beach house

jandles                       flip flops

stoked                       excited

crook                        unwell

de facto                    couple who live together but not married

dunny                       toilet

pikelet                      pancake
togs                         swimwear

toll call                     long distance phone call

tiki tour                    scenic route

whanau                   (maori for) family

gumboots                 wellies

freeway                    motorway

hottie                      hot water bottle

parks                       car parking space

smokes                    cigarettes

WOF                       MOT
(warrant of fitness)

daggy                     unfashionable/silly

do you live in a tent?         do you live in a barn?

lock it in / locked in           save the date (diary)

tits in a tangle                  knickers in a twist                 LOL

I have also come across a few things which differ from here to at home.

  •  traffic lights change from red to green (missing amber) so no warning, they change all of a sudden
  • there are traffic lights to get on each motorway, but they change instantly RED AMBER GREEN RED AMBER GREEN (as quick as it took u to read that - 2 cars are meant to go through at a time) sorry i didnt know how else to explain it by text lol
  • 'Merge like a zip' signs made me laugh as ur joining a motorway100304_850_img_8496.jpg
  • Some railway lines run next to the roads, so you can be driving line & a train goes past next to you...or you see people waiting at the station right next to the road
  • Coronation Street is 18 months behind in NZ!!
  • There is NO central heating. And its winter!!!!!!!!!!! Its absolutely freezing cold - people rely on small heaters to warm the place up but when you walk from one room to another the cold hits you. Night time is the worst - I had to sleep face under quilt cos I had a cold face haha. Constantly have cold hands & feet - I guess when ur so used to central heating its a shock whereas kiwis are used to it. We're called SOFT POMS cos we cant handle it lol
  • Brothels are legal.
  • Shops do not all close at 4pm on a Sunday. Supermarkets open till 11pm!
  • No small change in NZ - no 1 cent, 2 cent or 5 cent. Smallest is 10 cent (20p). In shops they round the price up when you get to the till

A few differences within the health care system:

  • you pay for doctors appointments - around $50/£25 - apparently if you're a student nurse you can see the onsite doctor for $5/£2.50!!!!
  • you are invoiced if you call 999 and an ambulance comes to you and/or transfers you to hospital - around $80/£40
  • healthcare assistants help administer medication if they have their drug competency signed off - its not always the nurses job :/ (not sure I agree with this)
  • a lot of medication is given in blister packs/ dossett boxes rather than administered individually

And thats that :) xxxxxxxxxxx

Bungee jump & ice bar!

It is now my last weekend in New Zealand....I have been here 4 weeks & am heading home tomorrow (Sunday 1st July) amazing journey is coming to an end!!

Today I decided to do a bungee jump off the harbour bridge in Auckland! When I first come to NZ I wasn't interested & decided a walk around the skytower was my limit, but then I thought what an experience....and before I knew it it was booked. I was soooo scared!! We arrived at the place, put a helmet & harness on and walked underneath the bridge towards some ladders which took you up to the 'bungee pod'. They had a list of people in order of when they want you to jump, and I was 3rd. Sarah & Rod were allowed to come up as spectators so that was cool :) My name was called then I had to go and have the harness attached to my ankles and be hooked up to all the safety bits & bobs. It was so hard walking out to the platform with my ankles tied up lol. And thats when it really hit me...standing on the platform & looking over the edge was terrifying!!!!!! I did not want to let go of the guy who worked there & felt like my feet were frozen to the floor haha. He did a countdown, but I didnt go...I asked him if there was a chance I could die, and if he'd push me..he said no to both! He did another countdown & this time I jumped. Ohhh my god!!!!!!!! The feeling of falling is the scariest thing EVER!! From jumping off the platform to when you feel the harness pull is the worst bit, cos u feel like ur not attached to anything and ur just plunging into the water. Once the harness pulled & I started bouncing up and down I relaxed & enjoyed the experience!! It was crazy but I loved it!! We had a strap which we pulled to drop our feet so we were the right way up (not upside down) and then they pulled you back up to the bungee pod. When I got back up there my whole body was shaking from the adrenaline - Ive never felt anything like it. The guy asked me to lift one leg onto this platform so he could take off the ankle strap & I could hardly balance on my one shaky leg lol. Wow, such a cool experience. I have 9 photos & a DVD to show you all when I get home :) :)

After this me & Sarah decided to go to an Ice Bar. Ive always wanted to go to the one in London but never got round to it so we thought we'd check it out! It was soooo cool, everything was made of ice...from the chairs to the walls to the glasses. We werent allowed to take our own cameras in (another money making scheme) but we bought some wicked photos :) they give you a big warm coat & gloves to wear & ur only allowed in there for a certain amount of time cos its so cold! U get 1 free cocktail, but trying to pick up this ice glass with big skiing gloves on is almost impossible - and theres signs up saying breakages need to be paid for??! Its only ICE!!!! Maybe they meant the big ice sculptures...not the little glasses :/

Tonight we've been chilling out after our tiring day! Its absolutely freeeeeeeeezing cold tonight - the only warm place is in front of the fire its horrible!! Gonna put my layers on & go to bed ready for my last day in NZ tomorrow before my flight home!!

What a brilliant day & perfect way to end my trip to NZ :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Last week of work in NZ!

So I've started my last week of work in NZ :) it is now Wednesday evening so I've done 3 days, and my last day is tomorrow yay! They have kindly given me Friday off so I can do some shopping and see some more of NZ before I travel home on Sunday!! I have loved all 3 places I have worked here, the staff & clients have been great & I couldn't have wished for a better placement! There hasn't really been a great deal of nursing things to be done (other than in Hamilton)...but, its a whole new environment, few faces, few places & its been great!

Today I went bowls again with the clients! I actually did pretty good & managed to hit the white ball 4 was so sweet all the clients were cheering & clapping lol. 1 of them said on the way home "Kelly, student nurse from the UK is the bowls champion!!" he then went on to say he thinks I'm secretly a bowls professional & not actually a student nurse...haha, I wasn't that good.... it was beginners luck, but it made me laugh!!

Things took a turn for the worst on the way home! We were driving back in a van (6 clients + 3 staff) and there was a strange noise coming from the van. Nobody knew what it was so we carried on, until there was a bang and the van (sort of) lost control & smoke was coming up from the front left and side. We (lucky) managed to pull over just before we got on the motorway to see we'd had a blow out on the front tyre!! It was so scary, the tyre had completely blown apart & the van was tilted forward to the left. We were SO lucky that we wasn't on the motorway, we wasn't driving too fast & that we had somewhere safeish to stop!! From the time we stopped to the time we were rescued by the AA was 1 hour. We had 6 hungry clients all in begging for smokes which we had none, so we entertained them by playing eye spy! All we had around us was a road, a house & open as you can imagine it got silly but it was a laugh! The AA guy turned up; he took out the spare tyre....which was flat so spent some time sorting that out, then got 6 of us out the van so he could lift it up to change the tyre. During this time the heavens opened & it was torrential rain, so we were all absolutely soaked & freezing cold. 1 of the clients freaked out saying he had had a dream 2 days ago that he'd had a car accident & died, so he refused to go in a car again cos he was so scared by what happened & said he never wanted to sit in the front of a vehicle again. I offered him my seat & swapped places & we managed to persuade him to get in so we could go back home. He kept saying thank you to the lady driving for driving so slow as in his words "it probably saved our lifes". Eeeeeek!! We made it back safe so thats the main thing - its all part of the experience!! :)

Its my last day of work tomorrow, yay! I then have 3 days off to enjoy considering a bungee jump off the harbour bridge  how excitiiiiing! Defo gonna go for the harness option & I do not want to be dunked in the water - glad its optional!!

Sunday......I am coming home!! I have had an AMAZING time, it really has been brilliant...but I am sooooooo looking forward to getting home & being reunited with my family, fiancee & friends :) miss you all loads, not long now xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Road trip!

The weekend just gone was my favourite weekend in NZ :)

Friday evening after work I met Sarah, we went for dinner then travelled to Rotorua. We stayed in a hotel overnight, then went to Whakarewarewa thermal village the next morning. It was amazing!! We learnt all about the Maori culture, walked through their village (website is if your interested) and watched their culture show where they did the Haka! One of the men asked Sarah if he could have a photo with her 'daughter' - meaning me! She was not too impressed lol! He also asked if I'd like to take a 'real warrior' home, which of course I declined haha!

We met up with some of Sarahs lovely relatives and went to Paradise Valley Wildlife Park! It was time for the lion cubs woooooooooooohoooooooooo :)! Now, I expected these cubs to be we could pick them up, but they were so much bigger than I thought!!!!! It didn't put us off though - we were in the cage with 2 lion cubs but didn't get the chance to pick them up as they were too excitable! We did get to stroke them though which was amazing :) people I've spoke to here couldn't believe I was so excited to be in with them, so I explained how at home we would NEVER have this chance, or if we did there would be an extra charge & hundreds of people trying to do it at once! This was included free with the entrance fee ($30/£15!!) and there were probably 20 people there - we went into the cage in small groups of 4 so we all got our turn! As we were walking out one of the lion cubs decided to jump up at me from behind, to which I paniced & tried to run off....the lady working there told me to keep still, which I thought was a bit difficult to do considering I had a lions paws half way up my back!! hahaha..I survived to tell the tale so all is good :) will upload photos once I'm home, it was great experience :) :)
We also fed wallabees (baby kangaroos?) and lots of other animals, and went to see a kiwi..a flightless bird only found in NZ!

That evening we watched (another) All Blacks vs Ireland rugby match! Check me out getting into the rugby..I actually enjoy it! The score was 60-0 to NZ so the game wasn't that exciting!!

The next day (Sunday) we made a load of cupcakes with Sarahs relatives & decorated them; marshmellow & chocolate ones, they were yummy! (Mum would be proud!!) We then went for a drive around Whakatane (pronounced fukatane lol) before our 4 hour road trip back to Auckland!!

I was glad to return to Auckland & get back to all my belongings as I'd been living out of a small suitcase for a week!!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Week in Hamilton

So my week in Hamilton has come to an end (already!!)

I have been staying with a lady I work with, her boyfriend & her brother. They have all been so kind & welcoming to me so I can't thank them enough. I have spent pretty much every evening hiding away in my room doing uni work, feeling very unsociable, but they have understood & been cool about it!

I have had an interesting week at work! The clients in this facility require a lot more hands on care which is what I'm used to/prefer, so its been great. Ive noticed quite a few differences in the way they do things compared to at home, such as medication. At home it is the nurses responsibility to administer drugs, and only the nurses allowed. Here in NZ, the nurses check the drugs when they arrive from pharmacy but the healthcare assistants give out the drugs to the clients throughout the day - they come in blister packs/dossett boxes so its pretty simple but still, its a big responsibility & Im not sure they'd be aware of side effects to look out for etc.

I've met a lot of new clients this week, and heard a lot of fascinating but sad stories. Lots of stories to share..but obviously no names or places mentioned due to patient confidentiality :)

One guy, in his 30's, fell asleep at the wheel of his truck & drove off a flyover sort of thing, flipped the truck, landed back on the wheels & drove into a tree. By some miracle, he had a triage nurse & a GP following they were on scene immediately and most probably saved his life. He broke both his legs, his hip, his arm... but he was actually VERY lucky to just come away with broken bones. He was only in the facility for rehabilitation so he can learn to walk again after his injuries.

Another guy was taking his 15 year old daughter on a driving lesson. They had a very serious road accident hitting into another car, and the dad was left seriously brain damaged. He is wheelchair bound, has very limited speech & will never return to a normal ways of living again.

1 client was a farmer, who decided to go out in his tractor late one evening. He had a fall, hit his head against the tractor & was left lying there until he was found the next morning. He has been in a vegetated state for 2 years now and any chance of improvement is very unlikely. 

Apparently 90% of improvement after a brain injury is done in the first 2 years after the accident.

There are a few clients who are responding well. Another young client, 29yr old male, was in a road traffic accident and was in a coma for 6 months. When he arrived in rehabilitation he was semi-comatosed & pretty unresponsive. A year on from his accident he is now walking with a frame, talking (slowly - but improving every day) and looking to get back out into the community to live his life independently.

Most of the clients I've met will make it back into the community and will live a pretty independent life. Some will require years of rehabilitation to reach a level where they can return home but will need full time care, and sadly others will be completely dependent for the rest of their lives. It really makes you appreciate life, and make the most of every day as you really don't know whats round the corner. Its very sad, but at the same times its very rewarding when you have the chance to help & encourage them. I LOVE rehabilitation & I know its definately for me when I qualify! 

So something freaked me out during my week here....
In New Zealand, brothels (&prostitutes) are legal!! I was told by a member of staff that once a month most of the clients go to the 'parlour' to see the 'girls' other words they go to the brothel to sleep with the prostitutes. I was shocked!!!!!!!!! YES I know people have sexual urges & its pretty normal but, I just found it a bit disturbing. Also, its all planned out. For the over-sexual ones they have medication to reduce their sexual urges...but when they have an appointment coming up the nurses stop their medication 3 days before so that they are able to 'perform' when the time comes. OMG!?!?!?!??! shocking!!!!!!!!!!!! All I can say is I am soooooo glad this doesn't happen at home cos it just freaks me out :/

Today I went with an occupational therapist and took a client horse riding. This guy is wheelchair bound so I wondered how on earth they made it happen. This place had an area with a hoist, so for disabled people they could hoist them up and onto the horse - and they have someone walk around with them so they're safe. It was so cool!! They do this every Friday and I thought it was a wicked idea! Just because ur disabled doesn't mean you have to be restricted to things & I really felt that today. I also took 3 clients swimming yesterday in a hydrotherapy pool which was amazing! Ones that can't normally walk were able to walk across the pool and managed to achieve loads so impressive to see :)

Anyway...another essay from me. Am off soon to meet my friend Sarah & travel to Rotorua for the weekend so I will update my blog when I can :) thanks for reading!!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Thank god for the NHS...

During my time here in NZ I have discovered a few things...

  • you have to pay for a doctors appointment (I'm sure it was $17 when I took a client the other day, but apparently a visit to your GP costs around $50 (£25!!)
  • prescriptions are $3 each (£1.50)

  • if you call for an ambulance & they transport you to hospital, you will be invoiced for it. A client today had a letter to say some of the fee was paid, but she was required to pay the $80!!!! (£40!!)

    Definately makes you appreciate the NHS, and everything we get for free in the UK. However, maybe if we did have a charge... doctors appointments wouldn't be taken up with pointless/waste of time things, and ambulances wouldn't be sent out for 'headaches' or whatever other ridicuous things people call 999 for..........

    Maybe we might get a doctors appt for the time when were actually feeling ill, rather than a week or so later...........Just a thought!!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Another adventure

I am now in my 3rd week in NZ...I have days when I feel likes its whizzing past...and others when I feel like I've been here forever. Don't get me wrong, I am having an amazing time & am having loads of amazing adventures, but I am missing home a lot & am starting to feel like I'm never going to return! I had a dream the other night that I came home & nobody remembered me...I was heartbroken & it left me feeling home sick all day!! I have moments when I feel sad about being so far away, but being able to talk on skype & msg on FB is really helping & getting me through. To be honest..I am surprised I've lasted this long without feeling emotional & silly...those who know me best know I can cry at anything :/ 

Had a great weekend here in NZ :) we went to Sarah & Rods bach (translation: beach house) & it was lovely! It was absolutely freezing, to the point where u know when ur outside & its cold & u breathe & u see ur breath its that cold...well, that was happening indoors :/ we were wrapped up in so many layers & I even went without showering for 2 days because I couldn't bare to get undressed. How gross is that!!!!!!! Slumming it festival style really isn't me...but we survived :)

We went & watched the second All Blacks vs Ireland rugby match in a nearby pub which was cool! I was proper getting into it! I don't really know the rules, other than its proper physical & they just tackle each other to the ground (thats all I need to know!) but I realised half way through I had a black guiness top I guess I was sort of supporting a bit of both teams..oops! We went for a drive around and for a walk on the beaches...they were beautiful!! Would be sooooooo lovely in the summer!! We also went to a vineyard & did a bit of wine tasting (LOL) I can't really say I have expensive taste as I'm used to a £3 bottle of wine - typical essex girl - but it was a cool experience even though I had no clue what I was talking out! We did the whole swirling it around & smelling it thing hahaha....

On the way home from the bach we went to a place called Sheep World. They had dyed some of the sheep pink hahaha...was so cool! We went in and watched a show...and the farmer was showing us how to shear sheep. He then wanted a helper, and Sarah volunteered me to go up!! I was so embarrassed but I thought why not! I went on stage & helped shear the sheep & was given some of the wool to take home it was wicked!! We then fed the baby lambs with milk bottles & then we all got to hold them! They were sooooooooooooo cute we didn't wanna put them down. I asked Dave if I could bring one home for a pet as I'll be moving in with him soon, but he said no. Sad times!!

Sunday evening I drove an hour and a half to Hamilton, where I will be staying until Friday. I was originally meant to stay here for 2 weeks, but I decided I'd feel more comfortable staying with my friend & I had also settled in well to the Auckland facility so I changed the plans. The lady, her bf & her brother who I am staying with are lovely & making me feel very welcome - I had to apologise tonight & say I won't be able to be very sociable during my stay as I have SO much uni work to get done this week, but they were cool & understood :) its also quite nice to have some me time - although too much will get my mind wondering & missing home no doubt so I think I'll get cracking with the uni work! 

Its been -3 at night here in Hamilton, so u can imagine how hard it is to warm up with no central heating!! I have been SO cold all day at work, everyone has their coats on & its just impossible to warm up - tomorrow I will be going in with 5 layers on, my hat, scarf & gloves just to stop be shivering!! All part of the fun.... 

I started my 1st day at new placement today, same company just a different facility. It was totally different to the place I worked in Auckland. The clients are a lot more dependent & require a lot more help, so its been good to see it from both sides. 

I am excited for Friday when Sarah travels down to meet me & we head off to Rotarua for a little road trip & weekend away :) 

Off now to have dinner with my new housemates & then crack on with the uni work - I think I've been in holiday mode for too long!!


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A lesson learnt...

Today I learnt how important it is to take what people say about others lightly, and always form your own opinions.

I am currently working in a residential unit in NZ for people with brain injury. On my first day in my new placement I was warned about one particular 'clients' aggressive/inappropriate behaviour. Over the past week & a bit I have been told by staff all the stories of incidents that have occured with this person & even shown how techniques of how to 'breakaway' if im ever caught in a dangerous/vulnerable situation.

Anyway...obviously hearing all this stuff made me feel uneasy about being left alone with this person or being in close proximity.. Today I was asked if I would go & spend some time with him, and help with some exercises. I felt a bit nervous but thought I would go in open minded and just be myself...and see how it went. Turns out he is such loveliest man & we spent 2 hours talking about allsorts - family, life, hobbies, his accident. He showed absolutely no sign of being this "aggressive" man everyone had made him out to be, and I can only assume his aggression is because he is frustrated at times & maybe people just don't listen or understand him.

It wasn't until I walked away that I realised how wrong I was to judge someone, simply on other peoples opinions and stories. I know its easily done, and I'm sure we all do it...but it just got me thinking...

Looking after people with brain injury is one of the most rewarding jobs/placements I have ever worked in. Its heartbreaking hearing peoples stories but at the same time it just fascinates me how a head injury (for a number of different reasons - a knock to the head or a serious car accident) can completely change your personality, your mood, your ability to walk, talk, eat....

Sorry to be morbid really makes me realise how precious life is, and scares me how it can happen to anyone... at any moment in time. How fragile life can be, and how it can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. We all moan about trivial things & get stressed about this & that... when really we have perfect lives where we can do what we want, when we want to...while being surrounded by people we love & care for every day. Its easy to take things for granted and think we're hard done by, but in comparison to the people I have had the pleasure of working with...we all have it easy!!!!

The people I have spent my time with in NZ (and the people I have worked with at home with a brain injury) have all had to adjust to a completely different way of life & are just expected to deal with it. Everything in their life and about their person changes & they are all of a sudden institutionalised & living a life they're just not used to. While coping with all this, they are still kind, caring, lovely individuals who want to laugh with their friends & be surrounded by their families. It really is a shame that not all staff I've come across & worked with have the right attitudes in looking after people with brain injuries. Sorry if this offends anyone but I strongly feel bad attitude and lack of CARE in staff are big parts in the 'clients/residents' frustrations..mostly cos they feel nobody is listening to them or understanding them & their situation.

Its so sad to see BUT the time I have spent here so far has made me convinced this is the line of work I want to go in to when I qualify. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have my own neurological rehabilitation centre.......omg it would be a dream, but until then I will definiately stick to this line of work as its fascinates me & is definately the most rewarding setting I've ever been involved in.

Sorry to go on....but...

Its really made me realise how amazing my life really is. I truely am lucky to have such  wonderful family, friends & fiancee!! I have been able to disappear to the other side of the world for part of my studies & I have had nothing but support & encouragement from everyone the whole way. My lovely Nan & Grandad passed away a while ago now (miss them lots), and they left some money behind for me which I have used to finance this trip - thank you, without you it wouldn't be possible. Every day I think how lucky I am to have such great people in my life & without you all I wouldn't be the person I am today. So thank you ...especially to my Mum, for leading me down the right path & making me appreciate life, and to Dave for supporting me every step of the way. Love you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

P.S SORRY FOR THE ESSAY PPL i got carried away OOPS

Monday, 11 June 2012

Busy busy busy

Saturday night we went to the All Blacks vs Ireland rugby match! I have never been to a rugby game before, or even watch it on I did not have a clue what the rules were or what was actually happening! We had good seats & the atmosphere was wicked, especially when All Blacks took the lead & everyone went mad - loved it!!

Yesterday I walked around the outside of the skytower...and it was sooooooooo good!! I've been wanting to do it since the day I arrived & was so excited when we planned to go yesterday! I had planned to and was more than happy to do it by myself...but when we arrived they were doing a 2 for 1 offer, so I persuaded Sarah to do it with me! We put our bright orange jump suits on and was attached to a harness...they took us right to the top and outside onto the ledge. We were all in a line & our harness' were attached above so we had to stay in that order to walk around. We got through the gate and there were no longer handrails to hold on to and now just a 1metre wide walkway ahead of us! Sarah decided at this point she couldn't do it & froze on the spot - she then tried to backtrack but we had to stop her as we were all attached & she couldn't run off without us haha! Sadly Sarah didn't join us for the rest of the walk but she defo missed out I LOVEEEEED IT!! In a small group we took it in turns to hang over the edge of the skytower, forwards & backwards! It was such a cool feeling, scary at times but cool! People were eating in the restaurant up high in the skytower and waving at us!! I didn't want it to end, I wished we could have gone round again or done more scary/exciting things but time was up! I do have a couple of photos to show u all when I get back, along with a certificate to prove I actually did it haha! I can go back and do the bungee jump for $ I may just be tempted! Its not really freefalling its more controlled (we stood inside afterwards and watched the jumpers) so who knows.....I might give it a go!!

Anyway...our day of fun didn't end there. At the skytower we got talking to some guys who were backing dancers at Lady GaGas concert...and they said they were performing that night (1 of the guys was about to do his FOURTH jump???!) Me & Sarah called up and managed to get last minute tickets to her concert, with only a few hours till showtime! I do like her songs...but I never really got I wasn't sure how i'd find it but it was actually amazing!!!! She is absolutely mad in so many ways, but the whole show/performance was just so good! Aaaannnd she played all songs I'd heard of, not too many from her new album so we could join in :) once again I have lots of pics to show u all when I get back, ull see how close we were & prob be a little jel!!

Started my 2nd week at work today!! Went with a 'client' to a dentist the hospital. One of the students asked if she could use her details and xrays etc for a casestudy, which they agreed, and then asked if she could take some photos for a before & after shot. We were then taken down to a photo studio ( the hospital!!!) for a photoshoot of this womans mouth & face.........!?!? errrm, doesn't get weirder than that!!!!!!! Defo the strangest dentist appointment I've ever been to!! ...Only in NZ!!!!!

I am feelin a bit rough at the mo with a crappy cold, sore throat, earache and Im off to dose myself up on meds & get myself to bed early with my kindle!!

Goodnight NZ, Good Morning England :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 8 June 2012

1st week in NZ!

So my first week in New Zealand has finished!

I have spent the week working in my new placement! I didn't know what to expect but I've really enjoyed it! The staff have been lovely & welcomed me to the place! It is very different to what Im used to at home... the clients are SO independent and its sort of the stage before they look at going home so they do everything for themselves! I am used to very hands on care, but its been good to see how things are done over here!

I took a 'client' to a doctors appointment the other day which was an experience, and then went on a trip to a maritime museum with 6 of them! You could get in free if you were a NZ resident, so the staff told me not to talk until we'd gone through haha! I must admit I did feel a bit trapped/scared having been sat at the back of the van surrounded by clients I didn't know...and being a passenger I felt SO travel sick!! Can you imagine the awkward moment of puking up over the clients...luckily I held it together (until I got off the van lol) oops!

Last night I went to a jubilee party at Sarahs work. She had decorated the office in all sorts of british decorations & it looked great! Sarah went a punk rocker & I wore my red, blue & white maxi I was pretty much a walking flag haha! It was a good night, we went into the city and had drinks in a few bars & clubs! Definately a different experience from home...I'm used to cheap cider & £1 apple sour shots & I felt a bit out of place being in a posh bar surrounded by fancy people...laaaa de daaaaaaa!!

This evening we are going to the All Blacks vs Ireland rugby match!! I do not have a clue about rugby in the slightest, but Im sure the atmosphere will be amazing!! Aaannnd Im doing the skytower walk tomorrow which I cant wait to do :)

So a week has gone by, meaning there are 3 weeks left. I am really missing home today!! To be honest I thought I would struggle more than I am, but I am being kept sooo busy with work & plans etc & luckily I have been able to talk to my family & Dave every day which has helped a lot!! Being awake when you're all fast asleep is really strange...Im constantly thinking what the time is back home & what you're all probably up to!!

Will post again after this weekends activities!!

Much love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 4 June 2012

So my first (bank hol) weekend in New Zealand is coming to an end! 

Yesterday, my first proper day here, Sarah & Rod took me around Auckland for a bit of sight seeing! There are lots of volcanoes in Auckland so we travelled round to see them; they were amazing & I'll have some brilliant photos to show you all once I'm back! (P.S they are not active).

There is a skytower in Auckland which is the tallest man made structure in New Zealand, at 328m high...and you can bungee jump from the top or do a 'skywalk'. Next weekend I plan to do the skywalk (on my own!!), and walk around the edge There is a 1.2 metre-wide walkway around the top, with no handrails just a harness securing you to the building! So exciteeeeeed :) There is also the Auckland Harbour Bridge, which you can walk along the top of. I am definiately doing that!!

I was meant to go out for a meal last night with the friends I am staying with but I was so exhausted. I felt completely zoned out so decided to stay in, chill & have an early night - which helped refresh me for todays adventures!

Today I drove to where my placement will begin tomorrow! The office where I am meeting the manager is literally round the corner from where I am staying - quite strange as I didn't plan that. I contacted random organisations in Auckland and they were the ones who offered me a place, so it was just luck that they were based so close! The actual building I will be working in is a 20 minute drive, but again not too far! I am actually excited about starting work there, probably the only placement I've been excited about! It will definately be an experience working in another country and seeing how they do things out here! 

Anyway, its 11pm here so I'm off to bed! 

Have a good day everyone at home :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 2 June 2012

I have arrived!!

I have arrived safe & sound in New Zealand after a 24 hour flight!

The first flight from Heathrow to Singapore was OK...watched a fair few films to pass the time, read my kindle & listened to my IPOD. The food was naff... had 'lunch' about an hour after taking off & then they bought round 'breakfast' about 9pm... all this time difference business is confusing! So I didn't eat much. I did however have a few glasses of wine to help me through the journey! The last hour on the aeroplane we had REALLY BAD turbulence. It was so scary and it made me feel travel sick which wasn't clever considering the people next to me were eating #awkward

My second flight from singapore to NZ was good! There were hardly any passengers; I had 3 seats to myself which meant I could lay down & sleep. I managed to sleep for 5/6 hours and was surprised to wake up to see only 2 hours left till we landed! The food again was naff so I skipped that but overall...the 24 hour flight wasn't as bad as I'd imagined!! :)

Sarah & Rod (the friends I am staying with in NZ) were waiting at the airport for me...Sarah wearing a jubilee british hat and holding a flag, it did make me laugh!! We are back at their house now, I am showered & refreshed & feeling better :)

It is currently 1am here sunday morning and I am wide awake....Can't wait to get up tomorrow morning and see New Zealand properly, in daylight!! We are going into the city to have a look around. I have had a chat to my family & Dave since arriving so am now feeling happy & excited about my time here :)

The worst part is over, now for the fun times to begin!! Night people!! xx

Thursday, 31 May 2012

1 more sleep...

So, 1 more sleep till my New Zealand trip!! I have (finally) packed, and the case actually closes despite all the sweets & jubilee bits thrown in there!! 

I am leaving for the airport at 6am for my 11.30am flight! Its sad but...I was excited to find out my flight to NZ was 24 hours instead of 27! I get a whole 3 hours of my life back...sort of!

I've checked out the flight films/entertainment, checked in online & printed out my boarding I guess I'm all set & ready to go!

Last night at home, goodnight!!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

6 weeks to go!

Tomorrow, the countdown begins to my New Zealand trip! I have 6 weeks to go until I fly half way across the world for 4 weeks of work/holiday!!

I feel excited, scared, and nervous! But am sure it will be an amazing experience which will change my life :)

Let the stress of (finally) sorting my VISA & endless lists of what to pack begin!!